Find a Security Clearance Job!


(Supporting new Clinton interim drug control policy)  (660)
By Bruce Carey
USIA Security Affairs Correspondent
Washington -- Defense Assistant Secretary Brian Sheridan says that the U.S.
military is initiating a five-point strategy to support the Clinton
administration's interim antidrug policy announced last week by Lee Brown,
director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy.
At a Senate hearing October 20, Brown said the new international strategy
will concentrate on the source countries and highlight the importance of
law enforcement, interdiction, alternative development, and "other programs
to attack the drug-trafficking infrastructure."
Sheridan said October 28 that the five elements of the Pentagon's support
strategy are: source nation support programs, assisting law enforcement in
dismantling cocaine cartels, use of interdiction to stop drugs entering the
United States by sea and air, better patrolling of the Mexican border to
stop overland drug infiltration, and education and outreach programs to cut
demand for illicit drugs.
"The first (strategy element) is our source nation support programs," he
said.  "We provide training, communication systems, ground-based radars,
planning support.  The interim strategy...calls for enhanced support to the
source nations."
"The second major thrust of our program are our efforts to help law
enforcement, and particularly the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), as
they attempt to dismantle the cocaine trafficking cartels.  Our
contribution amounts largely to intelligence collection and analysis.  The
goal in all cases is arrests and prosecutions," said the assistant
secretary.  "Some of those take place in the United States and some of them
take place overseas as we attempt to help those nations that have shown the
political will to combat this problem."
"The third aspect of our program revolves around our activity in the transit
zone, our detection and monitoring mission.  There you're looking at the
use of radars, AWACS and ships.  The principal target, of course, has been
private commercial aircraft carrying cocaine toward the United States.  We
will continue to do some detection monitoring of the transit zone, but in
accordance with the interim national strategy, we will begin to shift and
do less of that," he said.
"The fourth major strategic our support to the southwest border
states," said Sheridan.  "Approximately 70 percent of the cocaine entering
the United States comes across the southwest border.  There, we're talking
about...border detection and monitoring.
"The last our demand reduction program.  In the past, this has
largely consisted of drug testing and then prevention and education within
DOD (Department of Defense).  We have begun funding pilot outreach
programs, where we can take some of the unique resources and talents of the
Department of Defense and help to reach out to troubled youths, especially
those in the inner city, as requested by Congress, and see if we can make a
contribution in that area."
All military anti-drug efforts will be coordinated with civilian law
1nforcement under the direction of Brown.  "DOD plays a support role in the
counter-drug effort," Sheridan stressed.  "Additionally, all international
activities will be coordinated with and in support of the Department of
State and the relevant host nations that we are supporting," he said.
"DOD will continue to provide support" to law enforcement agencies, "but
will not directly assist in seizures and arrests.  Internationally, DOD
will not accompany host nation forces on actual operations, and that just
represents a continuation of past policy," he told reporters.
Sheridan made clear that the counter-drug problem is a long-term effort,
requiring "a multifaceted approach.  Both supply-side and demand-side
programs are required.
"Progress will be made incrementally, is not a war on drugs, but
rather a long-term and very difficult struggle.  And I think to label it a
war kind of implies that with some concerted effort this problem can
be...quickly dealt with, and that's simply not the case," he said.

Join the mailing list